From Pope Benedict's homily, given yesterday at the priestly ordination of fourteen deacons of the diocese of Rome:
"in prayer, the priest is called to rediscover the ever-new face of his Lord, the most authentic content of his mission. Only one who has an intimate relationship with the Lord can be seized by Him, can bring Him to others, can become His envoy. This involves a kind of 'remaining with Him' which must always accompany, and be the core of, priestly ministry, also and above all during moments of difficulty when it seems that 'the things to be done' must take priority. Wherever we are, whatever we do, we must always 'remain with Him'".
"The priesthood must never represent a way to achieve security in life or to attain social position. Anyone who aspires to the priesthood in order to increase his personal prestige and power has radically misunderstood the significance of this ministry. Anyone whose main goal is to realise an ambition of his own, to achieve success, will always be a slave to himself and to public opinion. In order to be noticed he will have to adulate; he must say what people want to hear, he must adapt to changing fashions and opinions. In this way, he will deprive himself of the vital relationship with truth, reducing himself to condemning tomorrow what he praises today."
Thanks to VISnews
It's easy to be critical of priests who in the course of their priestly duties appear to 'adulate' , 'say what people want to hear', and 'adapt to changing fashions and opinions'. It isn't what they are called to do, but these things happen through human weakness of one kind or another. Priests are likely to be vulnerable to human weakness, just as laity are. The overcoming of human weakness is a daily spiritual battle in which we (the laity) are engaged, and so it is for our priests.
Perhaps it's a good idea to pray regularly (even daily) for priests, remembering especially those who carry heavy crosses, or are in difficulties of one sort or another.
I heard recently of one priest who will no longer offer the Mass, he has many problems, and so I am adding him to my prayer list.
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